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Well, we’ll have to put out more fun records methinks! The album of
‘less than serious’ music the boys issued in the autumn, (“When the
fun went on” SMA 1612), has so far been the biggest seller we’ve had
since the web site began! Great to hear all your favourable comments on
it too. The last track on this compilation has certainly caused a lot
of you to write in. Thank goodness you all saw the funny side!! The
next release will probably be back to a 3 track ‘EP’ style of issue..
but it will be a real stormer.
Congratulations to our beloved Don Ker, (Stavely Makepeace original),
who reached the magical age of 70 on October 3rd..and he still looks
like a boy! Rock on Don.
Someone has put the boy’s interview on the BBC’s One Show, (broadcast
on Sept 23rd), on to You Tube. In case you missed it, go into You Tube
and type in “Lieutenant Pigeon on the One Show”, and it should come up.
It’s certainly one worth watching again.
On December 5th Rob and Nigel met up at the new “Two Tone” cafe in
Coventry along with two other acts from the past, (Hazel O’Connor, and
Pauline Black from Selecter), to be presented with plaques for the
“Wall of Fame”. The presentation was outside and Nigel told me it was
brass monkeys weather! However, by all accounts it was a great day and
was well covered by the press. With luck I’ll be able to get hold of
some pics from the day to put on this site before Christmas. (photo:
by kind permissiom of Coventry Telegraph)
So, all that remains for me to do before 2011 slips away is to wish you
all a very Merry Christmas... and we’ll see you in the new year.
Hi there, Nigel of Lt Pigeon here. Further to the broadcast of the recent
piece we did for BBC1’s “One Show”, we’ve received lots of letters and
emails off you. Rather than answer them all individually we thought it
best to write this general reply as they all covered pretty much the same
Basically, what you’ve been asking is, “When will we see Lieutenant
Pigeon back in the charts”.
Gosh, where do we start!
Although there is still an official Top 40 its
construction has changed radically. In the good old days of vinyl
singles you simply had to physically out-sell all your rivals. Today
it’s far more complicated as most people ‘download’ their music from the
internet. Real ‘sales’ figures are extremely difficult to assess because
of this. In fact it’s a very nebulous area to even decide what an
‘official released single’ any more.
We ourselves have our own downloads page and it has
always produced encouraging – if not massive – sales figures. However,
no official body can hope to monitor sites like ours. There must be tens
of thousands of sites like our own around the world.
In many ways the new system is beneficial to the
music business per se as there is a much fairer “sharing out of the
cake” so to speak but most of us in the industry would probably go back
to the good old days in a flash if it were possible. The problem lies in
knowing who is selling what today!
Of course there still remains the so called
mainstream pop charts. Breaking into this exclusive club has never been
easy. Who actually decides today sales figures to take into account when
compiling these charts these days seems to be a well guarded secret. Without
doubt it doesn’t represent an accurate picture of all music sales in the country.
Sales of CDs are dropping year on year too. What’s
left of the big record companies seem reticent to release product by
anyone other than established artistes. This is why the ‘Golden Oldies’
syndrome has become so prominent.
As if all this were not enough, various TV talent
shows now decide who to make
famous. An elite group of so called ‘judges’ decide what diet of music
will be force fed to the British public. All this has made life for
un-established acts almost impossible.
Back in 1972 when Mouldy Old Dough became a hit,
every new released single was given an airing on BBC Radio One’s “What’s
New” programme. Today the vast majority of recorded tracks, regardless
of their merit, remain completely unheard. Who knows how much excellent
talent is being missed now in the 21st century?
Perhaps the saddest consequence of all the changes
in the recorded music industry however is the demise of the ‘novelty’ or
‘fun’ record. If somebody produced a ‘one off’ track in the same vein as
Mouldy Old Dough today, it would be ignored by all and sundry.
To sum up, we, Lt Pigeon and Stavely Makepeace,
will continue to issue our CDs and downloads for as long as there’s a
demand for our style of music. We know that we will never be ‘main
stream’ again, in fact, in the words of the great Stan Laight, we feel
there’s more chance of ‘juggling soot underwater’ than seeing one of our
tracks back in the charts!
As a footnote to the question of novelty records,
we have decided to release an album full of such tracks very soon. It
will be called “When the fun went on” SMA 1612.
Well, our wishes for a scorcher have certainly materialised! Well above average
temperatures here, hope it’s been the same where you are. Terrific response to
the 5 seasons album, perhaps the interest in “The Sunshine Song” is partly due
to this warm weather. Anyway, many thanks to all of you who have bought a copy
or downloaded it.
The boys are now working on a compilation album to be released before Christmas.
It’s to be a sort of tribute record to all the ‘off the wall’ fun records we used
to enjoy in the past but seldom hear these days. The aim is to bring a smile to
everyone’s face to counteract the economic gloom of the times. They don’t have a
title for it yet but would welcome any suggestions?
Bets bit of news this time is a forthcoming interview Rob and Nigel are going to
record for BBC 1’s “The One Show”. This will be recorded within the next couple
of weeks and will be broadcast in September. It’s to mark the 40th anniversary
of the recording of “Mouldy Old Dough”.
All for now, Bill Boswell.
Isn’t this time of year great? All that warm summer weather ahead of us
(?) Well, let’s be optimistic and keep our fingers crossed!
As promised in my last newsletter, the boys have been
busy again. The planned “Happy Easter” song turned into another four
tracks being recorded so the new CD will now be called “THE FIVE
SEASONS”. Astute followers of this site will have noticed that the
release was announced on the sales page a few days ago. (SMA 1611).
Puzzled? Well, it’s not so much seasons as times of
the year. Easter, Whitsun, Summer, Autumn and Christmas. Pick your
You also may have noticed that the “BANGER RACING
PIGEONS” CD is also now available (SMA 1610). This CD was originally
sold within the Banger Racing fraternity but, despite containing many of
the ‘oldie’ tracks, much to our surprise, it has been extremely popular.
Consequently we are putting it on the sales page for general release.
Lastly, (and this will be of particular interest to
our fans ‘down under’), Mouldy Old Dough is to be used in Australia’s
“Talking ‘bout your generation” TV show to be broadcast on Network Ten.
I’d welcome any feedback about this show from anyone who watches it. (We
can’t quite pick up the signal here!).
More soon! Bill B.
New Year 2011
A belated happy new year to everyone! The
year is starting off quietly for us so there isn't a great deal of news.
I hope to have news however of some brand new Pigeon tracks very soon as
the boys have been busy writing an Easter song...Yes an EASTER song. I
don't know if anyone has ever attempted this before so this could be a
first, and it will be very special so I'm told.
This year will mark the 60th birthday of the
youngest member of both Stavely Makepeace and Lieutenant Pigeon, Steve
Johnson. Let's wish him well. Sorry it's a bit short this time but I'll
be back again soon!
All the best Bill B